What’s in the water in Montana? More to the point, around Missoula, home of kindie’s own Cowboy Andy and the Salamanders? For Toy Story fans who remember Andy as the kid and Woody as the cowboy, it’s a new morsel added to the “Salamanders” nomenclature. But it’s the same brand of infectious fun from the western badlands.
Recently rebranded with frontman Andrew Hunt, the band’s new Put Your Hands In The Air! continues the dual messages of “fun” and “for everyone.” If you’ve ever wondered how to get an Iggy Pop song onto children’s radio, Andy has cracked that nut with a cover of “The Passenger,” complete with sound effects and Andy keeping his shirt on. Fun fact: David Bowie sang backup vocals on the original tune. Not on the Salamanders’ version, but your kids won’t mind and neither will you.
“The Letter Why” asks and answers many common questions from youngsters, including “Why do I have to do what you say?” and “Why do songs always have to rhyme?” The instrumental “Already Great” comes with the lyrics on the CD sleeve (sorry, song downloaders). And you can use them to translate the Spanish version, “Tu Eres Lo Más Preciado,” which is also on the release:
But you, my little one, you are not to blame.
And if you hear someone, who speaks with anger or hate
Remember, my child, you don’t need to change.
Because deep inside, you’re already great.
Cowboy Andy and crew look for different ways to interact with their audience and Put Your Hands In The Air! is more than the typical call and response CD. There’s storytelling (“Mom Only Counts To Three”), characters and comedy sketches (“Bowl Of Eggs” and “Countdown”), and just plain rocking out (“Snow!”). Kids across the country are not much different from yours and mine, the band sings, and that goes not just for Montana and the whole U.S., but this whole crazy world. Put Your Hands In The Air! and join the amphibian merrymaking.
Here is the video of the band performing the title track, “Put Your Arms In the Air!”: